Truth or Consequences

by

I’ve been quiet. We took a break from the blog and guess what? Yes, our debt went up again. The husband and I were marvelling at how close we got to kicking the debt back in September. When I think back to the months between September and May I can’t easily explain how our debt shot up by 13K. I want to be shocked and yet I am not. *Sigh* Who would read the blog of two people who came so close to their goal and then lost sight of what they were doing? Is this delusional blogging? Don’t answer that. For now I can only hope that the blog serves as a way to help the husband and I focus on our debt elimination again. For now this is our tool to jumpstart our financial awareness.

I could spend a bunch of time trying to account for why we lost track of our goal and how we racked up more debt. But I’m guessing that’s a bit boring. And yet, I wonder from a psychological standpoint, is it helpful to review the past in great detail? Will this truly help us or prevent us from moving forward? Hmmmm….I suppose there’s not a straightforward answer to that question. Shrink husband, what say you?

To tackle our debts we clearly need to look back to understand how we have spent our money and what our pitfalls were. In looking for patterns we can identify areas for improvement. But what does it take to move beyond the past and really take control of our financial decisions? Here are some suggestions:

1.) Look at past spending — If you have been using Quicken or Liquid Ledger run some reports to see how you’ve spent your money for the past 12 months. You may be surprised at what you find.

2.) Identify areas for improvement — Be realistic. Don’t go from eating lunch out everyday to packing a lunch every day and never eating out. Being absolute is a surefire recipe for failure.

3.) Remember that every decision you make about how to spend your money is a choice. — Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need something or that you are entitled to it. Remember that you are in charge of financial choices and every choice has options and consequences.

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